Always dreamed about getting married at McDonald’s? Well now all you have to do is go to Hong Kong to make your dreams come true! The weddings are fast and cheap, just like the food, and the wedding cake is actually made with apple pies. Don’t have a dress? No problem, McDonald’s is also offering dressed made from balloons. Read more after the jump.
Marriage ceremonies are now on the menu at McDonaldâ€™s restaurants in Hong Kong for local couples looking for a cheap and easy way to celebrate their love.
Launched in January, McDonaldâ€™s Wedding Party is approaching its one-year anniversary. So far, it is only offered in Hong Kong.
The service has proven popular with a younger crowd that grew up with the golden arches, often throwing birthday parties at McDonaldâ€™s as children. Now that theyâ€™re in their 20s and 30s, it makes sense that they would want to host wedding parties there, too, according to Ruoyun Bai, a professor of Chinese culture at the University of Toronto.
â€œBy offering engagement and wedding packages to these young people, McDonaldâ€™s might be seen as trying to tap into a sense of nostalgia,â€ she said. â€œIt can be seen as evidence of how successfully McDonaldâ€™s has re-created itself as a local brand in Hong Kong.â€
Some locals call themselves â€œdiehard fansâ€ of McDonaldâ€™s food and mascots, said Shirley Chang, managing director of McDonaldâ€™s Hong Kong.
â€œMcDonaldâ€™s is part of the collective memories for many Hong Kong people,â€ she said in a news release.
Unlike customers in the West, those in Hong Kong donâ€™t necessarily see a McWedding as tacky because they donâ€™t perceive the brand as lowbrow, Bai said, adding that McDonaldâ€™s food is more expensive than meals at a mid-range restaurant serving local cuisine.
â€œI think itâ€™s their strategy to create a high-end image in Asia, in China.â€
There are now more than 200 McDonaldâ€™s restaurants in Hong Kong since the first opened in 1975. But unlike in mainland China, where the first McDonaldâ€™s opened in 1990, McDonaldâ€™s success in Hong Kong has little to do with residentsâ€™ fascination with the West, said Bai.
â€œMaybe in the early days of McDonaldâ€™s entry into Hong Kong, it was regarded as the symbol of the West,â€ she said. â€œBut several decades later, I do not think people eat at McDonaldâ€™s in order to seek an American cultural experience.â€
The basic â€œWarm and Sweetâ€ wedding package starts at $9,999 Hong Kong dollars ($1,320 Canadian), including venue rental, decoration, audio equipment, MC, 50 invitation cards, a wedding gift, guest gifts and $3,000 Hong Kong dollars worth of McDonaldâ€™s food ($396 Canadian).
Other options include a â€œcakeâ€ made with stacked apple pies and wedding gowns constructed from balloons.
McDonaldâ€™s also offers a few kitschy themes for wedding decor and invitations, such as one with Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar and other McDonaldland characters on a Pepto-Bismol pink backdrop.
Couples can throw their wedding ceremony, engagement party or anniversary party at three McDonaldâ€™s restaurants in Hong Kong. Each venue accommodates 50 to 100 guests.